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Cotto may spar with 'good friend' Pacquiao

ESPN staff
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Miguel Cotto stopped Delvin Rodriguez in the third round with a devastating left hook © Getty Images
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After watching Miguel Cotto return to the winner's circle with a third round technical knockout of Delvin Rodriguez on Saturday, trainer Freddie Roach has indicated he wants his latest recruit to fight Sergio Martinez next - and also revealed the Puerto Rican could spar his former conqueror Manny Pacquiao.

Just 18 seconds into the round three at Florida's Amway Centre, Cotto floored Rodriguez with a devastating left hook to bounce back from successive world title defeats; unanimous decision losses to Floyd Mayweather Jr and Austin Trout had made the bout with Rodriguez win or bust.

However, Roach - renowned for reviving former world champions as well as making them - was pleased with how Cotto responded in the face of adversity and praised the former three-division champion's work rate.

"I don't believe in warm ups," Roach told Boxing News. "He's [Cotto] a veteran, he puts the hard work in and that's what made the Rodriguez fight look easy.

"I'd like Sergio Martinez straight away before someone else gets him. It's a great fight and I believe Martinez would be the perfect opponent. There's also the attraction of Miguel becoming the first Puerto Rican to win world titles at four weights.

"Sergio is always saying he can still make 154 but we could do a catch-weight of say 158lbs and I'd be more than happy with that match."

Cotto has lost four professional bouts to date, one of which ended in a 12th round knockout to Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title at the MGM Grand in 2009. However, Roach stated the pair were on good terms and has not ruled out the idea of them sparring together in the future.

"They're good friends now, so I'm not sure how hard they'll go," Roach said.

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